Factor Game - This Math factor game is known by different names - 'Capture the Factor' - 'Taxman' or 'Think and Cover'. Personally like like 'Think and Cover' as it describes the necessary skill needed to do well :-)
Essence of the Game:
Think and Cover is an classic strategy game ideal for exploring factors, Addition, Multiplication and Division. It is also a fantastic way of introducing and reinforcing Math Vocabulary around the properties of number eg factor, multiple, prime, composite, odd and even.
What You Need:
24 counters for Player 1
24 counters of a different color for Player 2
scratch paper and pencils
1 Think and Cover Game Board
1 calculator for each player
How to Play:
1. Player 1 chooses а 2-digit number on the game board and places
a counter on it.
2. Player 1 records the number they covered on their scratch paper and this is their score for the round.
3. Player 2 covers all of the factors of Player l's number. Player 2 adds all their numbers together to find the sum and records this number on their scratch paper. This is their score for the round.
e.g. If Player One covers '21' then Player Two must cover 1, 2 & 11, 3 & 7 and add the numbers together to get their score for the round i.e. 24
4. Player 2 chooses an uncovered number higher than 10 and
places a counter on it.
5. Player 2 records the number they covered on their scratch paper
and this is their score for the Round 2.
6. Player 1 covers all factors of Player 2's covered number, adds
them together and this becomes their score for the round.
NB Players cannot place counters on numbers already covered.
7. Play alternates in this fashion until each player has used all their
their counters or no legal moves are possible.
8. Each player uses a calculator to find their total score from all
How to Win:
The player with the highest total is declared the winner.
- Let the students play the game for a while to get used to it, then when you feel they have it, introduce the rule o f any missed any factors are added to the opponent's score.
As the game progresses it will become apparent when is a good time to introduce appropriate Math vocabulary eg multiples,
factors, product, prime numbers, divisible, composite numbers etc.
The introduction/revision of Math vocabulary is very important as it gives the group a common language to discuss the concepts
arising as a result of play.
Possible Journal Reflections:
- Outline your winning strategy.
- What's the best first move? Why?
- What's the worst first move? Why?
- Is it best to go for the biggest numbers first? Why or why not?
- When should Player One choose the numbers with lots of factors?
- Are odd or even numbers better first choices? Why or Why not?
- Are there any numbers to stay away from when playing this game? - What are they and why should you stay away from them?
- What is the role of prime numbers in playing this game well?
- Is choosing the largest prime the best first move? Why or why not?
- Is it best to have the first or second move when starting this game? Why or why not?
- What is a factor?
- What is a multiple?
- What is a composite number?
Possible Self Reflection Questions:
- What parts of this game do not make sense to you?
- What do you feel you need to do to become better at playing this
- Is there any vocabulary you need to commit to memory to make
talking about this game easier?
- What questions do you still have about this game, factors or multiples?
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